I believe that you will pay for your health one way or another...either through food or through pills and needles. I would rather eat my way to kickass health than pop pharmceuticals or spend time at the hospital. Consuming the typical American diet full of processed and fast foods, is not a matter of if you will get sick but when.
According to Michael Pollan of the book Food Rules: An Eater's Manual :
"The Western diet leads to Western diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Four of the top ten killers in America are chronic diseases that can be linked to this diet."
Therefore these diseases are preventable simply through better food choices thus leading to my philosophy of eating wellness which I adopted almost a decade ago when I first discovered I had food allergies. Let me tell you how making different food choices impacted my life for the better.
Eating wellness in a nutshell
Eating wellness is creating vibrant health through better food choices that work for your body. I emphasize finding foods that work for your body versus following a set program because we're all built differently. For example, cow milk doesn't do my body good because I'm allergic to it.
To me, vibrant eating means consuming foods that are closest to the form Mother Nature created it. No one makes food more nutritious and beneficial to us than Mother Nature. I started this food blog Noshtopia as a way to help inspire people to eat their way to healthiness. As well, I want to show that eating wellness can be fun, creative, and easy. I get that we are all very busy, and pressed for time, but if we had options that made better eating easy and fun, we'd do it more.
The inspiration behind my eating wellness philosophy came about from my own health journey. I blogged about my specific weight loss journey(s), (yes, like many, I've been down that diet road many times), at my blog Back in Skinny Jeans. I have also had issues with out of control sugar cravings, and depression which a change in my nutrition helped alleviate immensely.
I'm also motivated by the fact that heredity wise both sides of my family have had diabetes, various cancers, and heart disease. I spent years in my youth through my early 30's eating poorly, eating fast foods, and eating to stuff emotions.
As a result, my body would continually gain weight, and I was constantly in states of not being totally sick but not feeling 100%. In 2002, my health came to a head after a 10 year grueling stressful career in high tech marketing traveling over 50% of the time and working at Fortune 500 to start-up companies where junk foods and fattening lunches and dinners were abundantly available.
I had to make a major life change and one of the first big changes I made was "cleaning out all the pipes" (so to speak) with a visit to the holistic healing center, the We Care Spa where I spent 8 days detoxing my body of those years of poor health habits. While at We Care, I was introduced to an exciting new world of wellness and holistic healing, and it's been an exciting adventure ever since.
One of my health role models is Jack LaLanne, the "Godfather of Fitness" who has one simple rule when it comes to food, "If man made it, I don't eat it." Jack will be celebrating his 94th birthday in September of 2008, and he by all means is a pinnacle model of health and vitality. Who wouldn't want to be that energetic and healthy in their 90's like Jack?
Things made in food labs by lab coats may sound sexy, hot, and healthy but remember these food products are created in labs, can be genetically modified, and are manipulations of the real things as a way to mass produce and mass market. Just because something is marketed as "low-fat or low-calorie" does not mean that that particular food contains high quality food ingredients. As an example, artificial sweeteners are low calorie but every day there are more and more stories and reports about their ill effects on people's health.
I'm no food purist sometimes you just gotta have a Cold Stone scoop
Now, I'm also no food purist and will not preach that thou shall never eat a McDonald's hamburger or drink a 7-Elven Slurpee ever again in your life. That in my opinion is just not realistic. Sometimes you just need to enjoy a Krispy Kreme donut or drink a diet soda. Life is too short to not enjoy food. What I will emphasize here is balance, and eating more vibrantly and consciously so you feel better and healthier in many ways. At the end of the day, you choose and you set your priorities. My intent is to help give you some ideas and inspiration.
In the past, many of us didn't eat organic, natural, or home cooked foods because of increasing busy life styles and lack of availability and ease. In our youth and un-awareness, many of us also didn't pay as much attention to what we ate because well, we figured we'd be healthy forever.
Today, with the rise of store chains like Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and Trader Joe's, it's much easier for people to get access to higher quality and organic foods. As well, more and more farmer's markets can be found in local neighborhoods as consumers want access to fresh from the farm vegetables, fruits, and flowers, as well as access to small business owners who make specialized foods. And more and more people, as they age, want to feel young, healthy, and alive.
What I find exciting too is the rise in popularity of other kinds of eating styles like Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo and Raw. I'm a Flexitarian which is eating mostly plant-based with occasional meat, dairy, eggs and seafood. Flexible is the key word. I eat more vegan foods mainly because I have dairy and egg allergies plus I am reactive to about a dozen other foods. My body is okay with sheep milk though.
I find the cookbooks, shows, and sites of all these veggie loving folks inspiration for vegetable creativity. I'm so done with plain old carrot sticks and broccoli from the bag. When I talk about recipes, I will also make an effort to include options to make the dish vegan or vegetarian friendly.
What I also find exciting is that there is more education on the medicinal properties of foods. I am very much into holistic healing and topics related to empowered healing. Diversity wise, there are also more cultural offerings in dishes as well as fusions of different food ethnicities. On TV and the Internet you can also find lots of shows, tips, and advice, on how to prepare, cook, and enjoy food. These are some exciting times in food!